Two of Iowa’s most popular grocery stores received fines for violating child labor laws.
In a report by the US Department of Labor, Hy-Vee and Fareway Food Incorporated were responsible for significant violations in Iowa and Nebraska.
Those include allowing minors to perform hazardous jobs like using meat slicers, paper balers or operating vehicles.
“Early work experiences can be rewarding for young workers and can provide great opportunities to learn important job skills that will be valuable in the workforce. Unfortunately, the age and lack of experience of these young workers can leave them vulnerable to mistreatment and, in some cases, hazardous conditions,” said Michael Staebell, the division’s district director in Des Moines.
The two companies will have to pay penalties totaling more than $128,000.
Stores in Ames, Des Moines, Urbandale and West Des Moines were among those cited.
For a list of stores that violated the child labor laws, click here.
Fareway issued a public statement Thursday evening saying in part, “Nearly all of these violations resulted from a minor throwing cardboard into a bailer that was not operating. We feel strongly that none of the violations jeopardized the safety or well-being of any minor employee of Fareway.”